Tag Archives: tales

Camil the Swimmer

It is Friday night. The air is cool and light. Much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Camil was always drawn to water. Even as an infant, she would crawl towards puddles and used to cry when pulled from her bath each night. She even swam the English Channel when she was only 4 years old. Imagine – just a tiny little girl in a tiny little bathing outfit (bright blue top) pushing through the waves. You might say that swimming was a compulsion – Camil once said that even if she wanted to, she couldn’t stop because swimming was in her blood.

She didn’t know how true that was; her great-, great-, great grandmother had been a viking warrior nicknamed The Seal. The Seal had been responsible for more sneak attacks on ships than any full ship of Nordic men. Legend has it that when her funeral pyre was sent out to sea, the body of The Seal mysteriously rolled off the wooden boat before the flames ever touched it and the tides never brought it back to shore.

Camil was also an excellent student, and was offered a number of scholarships – but all to universities in land-locked areas. So she didn’t go to school. She instead joined a sea-circus, dressing as a mermaid and performing water ballet for children along the beaches of the American east coast. She was always recognized by her bright blue bathing top.

She was kidnapped by pirates once; they felt they were unable to recruit enough youngsters into a life of sea crimes if Camil and her fellow performers kept allowing kids to join their water ballets. Too much happiness means not enough piracy, apparently. What the pirates didn’t realize was that Camil always wore her bathing outfit beneath her town clothes and that beneath her straw hat was her bathing cap and her goggles were in her handbag. Once aboard the foul-smelling ship, locked in the hold and ignored, Camil slipped out of her town clothes and out a porthole. With the aid of a family of loggerhead turtles, Camil returned just in time for the 4 o’clock show.

This portrait was taken before she swam around each of the Hawaiian Islands, trailing yellow silks behind her.

Always be true to yourselves. Do not be afraid to celebrate the odd and the miraculous. Slip into the pool anytime.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

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The Winter Book

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

According to ancient Germanic folklore, during the Yule season and the celebration of the Winter Solstice, the mythic Wild Hunt would take place. The Wild Hunt was a frenzied and phantasmal group of hunters in mad pursuit across the winter skies. It was warned that should a mortal witness The Wild Hunt, or dare to follow it as it undulated and tore through the sky, then that mortal would be kidnapped to the Island of the Dead and never heard from again. Parents warned their children from watching for The Hunt, but children are children and the quickest way to get them to do something is to tell them not to do it. So, to keep their children safe and to distract them from the tempting visage of deities and their horses, parents gave their children books to scribble in, to keep the children’s eyes away from the skies and potential kidnappings by the dead.

These Winter Books, as they came to be known, grew into personal accounts of The Wild Hunt, pieced together from sidelong glances and glimpses, guesses and conjecture. Without these books, without the small artists in the snow, bent over their books and away from the frenzied hunting party of the dead, we’d not know what we do about The Wild Hunt.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

 

 

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